For such a long time, the world remained in night, darkness, hatred, and strife! For thousands of years, evil raged while humanity longed for freedom, redemption, and love. Instead, most knew only distress, burdens, and sin. Pagan gods offered only wrath to mankind and demanded endless sacrifices. To satisfy the one true God seemed discouraging after repeated failure. Only the anticipation of a coming Messiah allowed a ray of light to glimmer through the darkness.
And then God revealed himself as Love – not a certain measure of love, not as possessing love, not only giving love, but as Love itself! This holy God, before whom no sin can exist, is Love! And this Love came to us! “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16). “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth” (John 1:14).
How does one perceive love? The words “I love you,” however soothing, are often misused. They can easily be spoken with a hidden selfishness. I will show you love because I want something myself. However, true love is giving, even sacrificing. God has shown His love in such a measure that no one can say, “You do not love me!” “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). God could not do any more to prove to you and me that He is Love and that He loves us personally, beyond all tangible limits!
If we humans could only grasp how much God loves us, the great desire to be masters of our own destiny would surely cease. God desires to pour out loving-kindness and goodness on our lives. Just think of how much we enjoy doing good things for our loved ones … and God loves to a far greater degree than we are capable of. Recently, I was in conversation with someone about the love we have for our children. When they suffer, we as parents immediately want to free them from suffering. The other person said, “How difficult it must be for God to let us endure suffering, because He sees that it is best for us! Surely He would want to immediately end our suffering too, but His love won’t allow that because He could harm us by it. Yes, God loves beyond measure!
How the heart of God must bleed when He sees His children suffering – but not only the redeemed ones! He goes after every lost person to lovingly save him from the ruin of sin and his own way. Too often, however, humans lash out against every intervention of God! Love wants to alleviate the misery of man, but man resists it. He is just as a little child who tries to do things on his own, persisting even if it tires and bruises him. But finally, when Love finds entrance, when God’s love finds room in a human life, then everything becomes new! Night and darkness are transformed into light. Loneliness and coldness are replaced with warmth. Despair and hopelessness are replaced with life! Hatred, rebellion, and stubbornness are replaced with love! When Love comes, everything is different! When Love comes, the dear Father comes. When Love comes, heaven comes. And when Love comes, reciprocal love is incited, a love that fills the heart and then flows on so that other dying, cold hearts are also warmed and revived.
Christmas is the celebration of Love, a day of remembrance that Love came. Most certainly, it has come to you as well. Have you claimed it for yourself? It is offered without any conditions. But if you accept it, it will lead you to repentance, then to salvation and God’s favor. And it will also become a source of eternal life in you!
“And then Love came!” I wish that this testimony would be the most important event of your life story!